A Public Service Announcement Educates People With Tuberculosis

Cartoon drawings illustrating symptoms of tuberculosis
More than 6.000 broadcasts of this PSA educated thousands of Uzbeks about TB symptoms and treatment and provided the number for an anonymous TB hotline where Uzbeks could find out about testing and treatment.
Project HOPE
A PSA Educates Uzbeks About TB Symptoms and Treatment
USAID’s TB program designed an effective way to educate Uzbek population about a disease that has become a plague for many countries.
A public service announcement (PSA) on tuberculosis (TB) developed by USAID enabled a young father of two to identify his disease and obtain qualified medical help. A 35-year-old builder named Danyor (not his real name) from a village in Surkhandarya Province suffered from coughing, chest pain, and general weakness for months. He had already seen two different doctors in private clinics and taken a lot of medication, but each time, the symptoms returned. Danyor kept losing weight, while the cough became more frequent. He even thought about giving up his job, since his wife blamed it for his poor health. Then, Danyor saw a USAID-funded PSA about tuberculosis on local television. The symptoms described in the commercial sounded a lot like his and he realized he could have TB. Still, the TB stigma in Uzbek communities is very strong, and Danyor was afraid to disclose this disease to his friends. Instead, he called the TB hotline suggested by the PSA to ask about undergoing testing and treatment for tuberculosis anonymously.

Such phone calls became more frequent after the USAID-funded PSA was launched on regional TV stations throughout the country. Previously, the TB treatment center received one or two phone calls each week, but the PSA increased their frequency to between 30 and 35 calls per week from people across the country.

Initially, the PSA was broadcast on a non-government TV station and its multiple branches throughout the country. The PSA was shown 3 times a day on weekdays and 5 times a day on weekends over a period of three months, which amounted to 6,000 broadcasts. After witnessing the impact of the PSA, the national TB treatment center decided to adopt it for broadcasts on the national government-run TV station so that even more people across the country will learn about this disease, its treatment, and prevention.

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Last updated: August 30, 2013

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